Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hawaii 2007

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Some summer stories for ya!

Hey. This is Ryan.

I think enough has happened that it's time to update the general populous.

First, I went back to grad school. This came after a prompting from my classmate and friend, Jill, peer pressured me to just suck it up and go for it. I think her exact words were, "Do it! You gotta do it! You should just do it! Do it, wimp-o!" So I, being the grateful pushover I am, jumped in feet first and with the love and support of my awesome chick, Lish.

You know how some things that are right just fall into place? Well, it must have been the right time because everything really just came together quickly. I had to have my stuff in to the university (Walden University, in case you were wondering. Google it, it's accredited, which translates to legit.) I'm getting my Master's in Educational Science with an emphasis in Integrating Technology in the Classroom. Totally nerdy, but appropriate. Administration just isn't my bag, baby. So far, I've loved it. I'm only two weeks in, though, but I've previewed all my materials and I'm impressed ... and motivated to do better this year. And for four classes more, I can get licensed in Instructional Design and Technology. Win, win. Plus, the first class is free and they give you all your books. It's already added in the cost. I'll be done in two years.

The second thing is we are finally in a position to buy a home. We have worked to clear our debts and credit so that we can provide a good, affordable home for our family. We looked at several and I think we know what we want. The market is great and we can buy a lot of house for a little money. I can't wait for the day when we can sign those papers and get into a home of our own. I really just want to be able to go to the bathroom without someone busting in on me.

This truly is becoming a summer of change.

Grad class discussions and blogging

Hey. This is Ryan.

Do you mind if I post my discussions for my grad class here? I'd love a rousing discussion on what my educational viewpoints are.

My discussion prompt for this week was:
Imagine if a movie were made about your teaching passion, commitment, and impact. What would an inspiring scene from your movie look like and how would it reflect the concepts presented this week? Based on what you want to accomplish as a teacher, consider how you would respond to Mr. Canter’s retirement dinner activity. What would you want students, parents, and colleagues to say about you at the end of your teaching career?

One of my supervisors once described me as “unorthodox.” I really just translated it as weird. My movie would probably be something between “Patch Adams” and “The Paper.” (If you haven’t seen the latter, check it out. It’s a pretty accurate depiction of a newspaper office. It is “R” though, so you’ve been warned.)

I know that I’m a clown. I consider myself an entertainer when I’m at the front of the classroom. I know that I have to captivate the attention of my students – whether in speech or my publications classes (yearbook, photo or newspaper). In speech, I take the approach of not being afraid to look like an idiot in front of an audience. So, I’m goofy. Our discussions on current events are spirited. We talk about the absurdities of today’s societies. We talk of, as it was mentioned in the viewing, of subjects that matter to them (Nieto, 2003) and deal with differences.

My movie would depict my passion for journalism and communication and our race to be nationally recognized. It would definitely be a “dramedy” because if you’ve ever been in a high school publications class, you would definitely see some pretty funny drama. I would hope to see that my students, though their home lives are not ideal, would have an escape at our newsroom. Or that the students who aren’t particularly awesome at sports, would have one thing to feel like they accomplished something or are superb in something other than sports.

As for my retirement dinner, I would hope my students would say that they always had at least one person who cared for them at the high school. I hope they saw the sacrifices I made with my own family for my school family. I hope they know that I truly cared about their success. I hope they say my class was fun. I hope they say they looked forward to coming to my class because the hour would fly by and they actually walked out each day with one nugget of knowledge.

I hope they say that I inspired them to do the best they could and that I held them on equal ground as professionals like Peter Jennings or Walter Cronkite. I hope they say they loved coming to yearbook, newspaper or photo because it was like coming to their second family – fights and all!

I hope my colleagues say my content area is significant and that my passion drove my students to excellence. I hope they recognize journalism as an application of core classes they are mandated to take. I hope they express they knew I respected them as professionals and equals.

I want both my colleagues and my students to say I loved what I did and in turn, they loved being around me. I want them to say I was excited to come to school and do what I do.

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